||This is satire. I wish I could append an 'at its finest' to the end of that, but unfortunately, while the piece starts out strong, it only declines from there. It doesn't really go anywhere, in fact. Consider, perhaps... who are you, writing this, and to whom is it presented? What is the actual purpose of this report, and what is it ultimately mocking? What does it all mean? What are the global implications? If you can answer these throughout the piece, subtly tying it all in to what you are intending, it can build up to something even funnier... or at very least not just sort of end on the general note of, "okay...?"
Mind, what is there thus far is verging on excellent already; the thing simply is not done. The idea of clinically discussing the effects of retarded babies, a controversial topic at best, as if it was of the same importance as, say, any other funding issue is inherently funny in of itself, and you lot take it further with your cynicism, precision, and general disregard for the babies themselves. Just need to take it a step further and tie it all together. And go somewhere.
||It's alright, but it needs more funny throughout the piece, especially toward the end.
- Introduction - Excellent. Seriously, best part of the entire thing, and probably why the end feels like such a disappointment; after this, most things would be, unfortunately.
- Converting the Keynesian economics to economics regarding retarded babies is a lovely twist. It'd be nice if the following sections reflected this more, though.
- I like the play on tautology - 'a workforce full of retards is a retarded workforce.'
- United States - Perhaps a little too much time is spent on specific figures. I mean, they're nice and professional and all, but they're really not that funny and this is the only place where that much specific numerical data is even presented.
- The clinical evaluation of the babies in the dumpsters is good... at least, it adds to the satire. What is here is pretty decent, and in pretty consistent amounts. Might want to improve the transitions, and you could add some more jokes with references... or linking existing references to their things might elicit a chuckle, spelling it out after a fashion.
- China - This is a sudden change from the previous - they're only killed? Before it as all economics, with mentions of what to do with them, but now it is what to do with them and mentions of economics. At any rate, the notion of the 'one... child' policy is a nice move, but is presented in a somewhat confusing fashion.
- Basically, what this section really needs is come out less convoluted and to follow the formatting and direction of the previous ones better; it has all the pieces, but just clashes. The sludge is another clash, but if the section as a whole fits the tone better, the sludge mention would probably have a more ironic effect.
- United Kingdom - Numbers? It is a thing on economics, and the first two did have numbers... but this seems to just be wandering off topic, really. The history is all very well and fine, but what has it to do with the current effects? Or what did the guy do to the country's economy? Assume we don't know. Give figures on the lasting effects to this day, perhaps?
- Ireland - Numbers! How high a population? How does this compare? Why are the babies a problem? How has the Proposal helped, or not? Mmm, but this section brings up some interesting points. Very interesting...
- Mauritania - Why is this one being brought up? Is it exemplary of the more obscure countries? As it is, it is downright strange. Not that that's bad in of itself, but if you do not make it clear why it is listed, one might get to wondering, well, why it is listed. Why it matters and whatnot.
- It does, however, mostly follow the format of the overall and addresses not only what happens to the retarded babies but also does well with the economic aspect, unlike some others. It's funny, too, but the question is, how can the country keep this up?
- Ancient Sparta - this does not belong here. The section is on the economic effects by country. Not only does this not discuss the economic effects, it is not even a country. It never really was, either; it was a city state back in the day. This section simply charges off into the realm of silly, without any sense of of the satire clearly present in the rest of the piece... even the Mauritania part.
- I can understand if, perhaps, this was the intention, to finally let it out that, okay, yeah we ain't economists; we're just a bunch of blokes who've been pulling your leg... but to me, it just doesn't work. After everything leading up to it, it is merely disappointing, like walking out of the cinema after wasting money to see a downright mediocre film.
Ideas for expansion and whatnot:
- Add a section purely for historical contexts, perhaps. Put the Sparta bit and the history of Queen Victoria's baby, and other historical bits there, moving them out of the analysis of the present situations. It would probably help the flow of the piece and keep the ideas more organised.
- Reference other economists - even within the Keynesian model, there are plenty of other notable ones, some of which say some very strange things. One of my professors so helpfully informed us that 'Traffic congestion is not included in GDP,' for that matter, but that's just a crazy example. You do not even need to use what folks actually said, but their names and supposed explanations will help - the more references, the more credibility and variety and opportunities for making funnies you should have.
- Say how the countries fit into the overall, or even compare, perhaps.
- Add some sort of conclusion. It needs it, something about the global economy as a global economy - nowhere do you say anything about what they do for the economy of the world as a whole, yet there are hints throughout. And it certainly would be an issue - what do these babies actually do? What are their effects on a grander scale, what do they do to trade, to international relations? How do they hinder large corporations, what do they suck from the flow of currency from one entity to another? And what is the purpose of this report, really?
- You could use Sparta as a model for the ideal use and explain how great their economy was and whatnot... perhaps even make it so that that is what the piece is leading up to. Turn it into a proposal of your own, to do precisely that and turn the world into a new Sparta?
- No, seriously, do that, conclude it at least in some fashion. Conclude it and pull all the ideas together and make some grand funny on top of everything else. End, so to speak, with a bang.
|Prose and formatting:
||Very nice and encyclopedic... until it stops being nice and encyclopedic and just goes bonkers and ends. But until then, it remains fairly consistent, if at somewhat of a decline, flows reasonably for the most part, and is quite well written and seems free of typos and other grammatical whatnots. The repetitive structure of the sentences is, while typical to the genre of this sort of report, nonetheless makes it a little annoying to read at times. In a way, however, this is a good thing, as it emphasises what a boring, serious, dry report this really is... except for the fact that it ain't, which is nice irony. Mind, that is not to say the fluency could not be improved - a few places seem a little forced, as if longer sentences had been broken into two for some reason. Anything terribly wrong with having long sentences?
A couple of parts were confusing, though - the bit about why only the female babies are killed in China (this becomes more clear in the next paragraph, but if it could be made clearer when introduced, I suspect it would help),
Also, mind the wording. Small slips, humanising the babies by referring to them as 'children who' ... instead of 'children that'..., undermining your own credibility - insisting outright, 'experts (like us)' without any basis just makes it seem like all you are is a bunch of random, completely unqualified folks putting forth a completely ridiculous idea. Granted, you are, but it need not seem that way - the suspension of disbelief in this kind of thing is part of what makes it so funny. And about the historians - 'especially the smart ones'? You may be feeding the readers lines of complete nonsense, but that does not mean the lines cannot be camouflaged more. Instead of saying the smart historians rejected the idea, use wording that seems smarter, perhaps. Or something. Mind the little things.
||And other media, at that. What is here seems to support the article. The baby-doll-thing is excellent; not only is it a downright creepy example of what a retarded baby might look like, but the caption is perfect for it. The map, while not overly funny, works well to support the article as a seeming serious whatever. More images like these two would probably help immensely - just support the article as what it is and be funny. Olipro's telephone call I cannot say, as I am currently without audio, but the caption diverges a bit from the tone of the overall piece. Examples are generally good, but they do need to fit. The sign from ancient Sparta, on the other hand, is just strange. Same as the Sparta section as a whole, unfortunately. And I don't really like text-based images, anyhow. You could say the thing means anything, but at very least it would help if it fit.
More like the first two would probably help immensely, methinks.
||Because something with this good of an idea shouldn't be such a disappointment. Well, I was disappointed, anyway.
||I should have done this a goodly long while ago, for which I apologise. I blame Olipro entirely, of course, but that's not the point. This article has too much potential to leave as is; it's already decent, but I suspect it could be simply brilliant with a little work. From the concerns voiced by the against voters, I am not the only one that feels this way.
I know it is already featured. Never mind the questionability of that, as it would merit a feature eventually, anyhow; if this can help you to make the piece into what it deserves to be, I implore every one of you lot that brought it into being - please, use this espousal of personal grumpiness and random opinionatedness and finish it. Make the article amazing, regardless of the tardiness with which this finally came.
|| ~ *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101122 - 03:44 (UTC)